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French supermarkets forced to donate unsold food under new law

by Futures Centre, May 29
2 minutes read

In efforts to cut its national food waste stream in half by 2025, France has passed a new law enforcing supermarkets to redirect their food waste stream away from landfill and incineration. The new legislation obliges supermarkets to donate unsold edible produce to charity and inedible produce for use as livestock feed or compost.

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The law, which was suggested by a municipal councillor Arash Derambarsh, makes up part of the Loi Macron, which confronts inequality and economic activity in France. Supermarkets will be liable to fines of €75,000 or two years in jail if they fail to sign contacts with food donation charities by July 2017.

The new legislation has received some criticism, as supermarkets only produce 5% of the nation’s total food waste. Jacques Creyssel, the Head of the French Federation for Commerce and Distribution (FCD), expressed that food waste legislation should be applied beyond supermarkets.

Each French citizen throws out 20-30kg of food per year on average, which adds to the staggering EU total annual food waste of 89 million tonnes.

Derambarsh hopes to hold a roundtable on the issue of supermarket food waste at several key international events this year, including UN discussions about the Millennium Development Goals, the CO21 environment conference and the G20 summit.

Image: A feast you won’t need to forage for
Image credit: Pookie & Schnookie

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